Book – The Prophet (Summary)
Author – Kahlil Gibran
Genre – Poetry, Fiction, Prose poetry
First Published – 1923
Since I have been reading different books, The Prophet has been referred in many books and I finally read it. This is the first poetry kind of book and liked it. Core messages given through fable & poetry makes it more relatable. Initially published in 1923 and yet every word is equally relevant today.
About the Author –
Kahlil Gibran was Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist. He is best known for his book The Prophet published in 1923.
The Prophet has been translated in more than 100 languages and described as one of the best-selling books of all time and highly recommended book.
About the Book –
The Prophet is a fable about the prophet Al Mustafa, who has lived in city of Orphalese for over 12 years and when finally leaving for his home country people of Orphalese gathers to bid him farewell, and asks for his guidance on important aspects of life.
The book is divided in 26 short chapters that are Prophet’s responses to questions posed to him at farewell. These questions ranging from Love, work, joy and sorrows, prayers pleasure, to name a few.
Synopsis From Answers of Few Questions
1) On Marriage – Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
2) On Children – You may give them your love but not your thoughts. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor stays with yesterday for longer than intended.
3) On Giving – You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For truth, it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.
4) On Work – You work so that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When, you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
5) On Joy & Sorrow – Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
6) On Freedom – You can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.
7) On Pain – Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain?
It is the bitter portion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
8) On Self-knowledge – Your heart knows in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
9) On Teaching – No man can reveal to you anything at all but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.
10) On Friendship – Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. When he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unclaimed.
11) On Talking – You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts and in much of your talks, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
12) On Good & Evil – Explaining Good & Evil nicely Al Mustafa says what is evil is but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.
You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
13) On Prayer – You pray in your distress and in your need; Should you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.
Al Mustafa then answer few more questions in brief about topics like Pleasure, Beauty, Love Religion, Death and few more.
I have also created video of few quotes from the book – Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my You tube channel – Myread4change
Its quick read and I believe this will help you enhance your perspective in key areas of life. Loved the book and strongly recommend reading it. if, at all you choose to read this book, Do share your experience and what you pick from the book.
You may download The Prophet Free E-Book here.
If you like this book, You may also like The Complete Game of Life and How to Play it.